Beeswax Blackening

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Sandbachris

Beeswax Blackening

Postby Sandbachris » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:48 pm

I wanted to share a handy tip, that I swear by.

You'll certainly of heard of oil blackening, where you heat up a piece of steel until its cherry red then plunge it into an oil bath, to produce a protective black finish. Beeswax blackening is a traditional alternative favoured by blacksmiths of old, and it has a lot going for it.

As with Oil Blackening, the rust free steel part is heated to a uniform cherry red using a torch, then the part is plunged into liquid Beeswax. I heat up the Beeswax to make it liquid, simply to produce a more even finish.

The Beeswax cools quickly, and a protective coat of solid beeswax remains to help protect the part from corrosion. I found this technique to be of particular benefit on the engine cover bolts. Certainly cheaper than the fancy stainless steel alternatives.

I personally leave a good thick coating of beeswax on the heads of bolts etc, and only wipe off the excess after fitting. I wipe off most of the beeswax from threads to prevent it from interfering with loctite or copperslip depeding on the application.

A block of beeswax goes a long way. Once it cools it returns to the solid state, and will last for years. Inevitably treated parts will rust over in time, but then all you need to do is clean them up again with a wire wheel, or wire brush, and then Beeswax black them again. This is exactly what Blacksmiths used to do, they kept beeswax in the forge and protected all their tools in this way.

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george baker
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Re: Beeswax Blackening

Postby george baker » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:04 pm

Hi
if you heat a bolt to cherry red wont it change its temper?

George
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Tim (Midland Section)

Re: Beeswax Blackening

Postby Tim (Midland Section) » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:54 pm

Hi
if you heat a bolt to cherry red wont it change its temper?
George
High tensile bolts do not have a temper. They should have the same strength red hot or cold.
Temper applies to High Carbon Steel, which has to be heated to cherry red & quenched, which makes it hard but brittle. After cleaning & polishing the steel can be reheated, where coloured lines can be seen travelling along the metal (from light straw to dark blue) the point at which the steel is then quenched is the temper. The colour is chosen according to the toughness required. think screwdriver (dark straw) or chisel (light Blue) IIRC.
HTH

Mike D
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Re: Beeswax Blackening

Postby Mike D » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:52 am

Bloody hell Tim, I thought my old metalwork teacher was replying. I can still remember the temper colours on a cold chisel I made :lol:

Mike

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Rugbycoach
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Re: Beeswax Blackening

Postby Rugbycoach » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:07 am

Bloody hell!!!! I even remembered all that as well. I still have those school made tools tucked away in a box somewhere!!!!
Colin
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Tim (Midland Section)

Re: Beeswax Blackening

Postby Tim (Midland Section) » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:14 pm

Bloody hell!!!! I even remembered all that as well. I still have those school made tools tucked away in a box somewhere!!!!
I'm still using some of mine. Glad I remembered it all, I'm sure I would have been corrected had I got it wrong. My metalwork teacher was (amazingly) a Mr Wood.
As part of my job I visit schools, 10 years ago (before Health & Safety had influence) I was dismayed to see that woodwork & metalwork classrooms were being dismantled & refitted with rows of computers. Latterly those that were still equipped, had the forges either removed or barriered off, because they were scared of having accidents, never mind leaving a chuck key in the chuck. No wonder this country never makes anything any more.
As soon as I can sell a bike (BSA B40GB in trail trim) I shall be able to set up my newly acquired lathe & refresh my skills. Roll on retirement, NO golf courses for me. :smile:

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Galactic Greyhound
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Re: Beeswax Blackening

Postby Galactic Greyhound » Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:33 pm

.......I personally leave a good thick coating of beeswax on the heads of bolts etc, and only wipe off the excess after fitting. I wipe off most of the beeswax from threads to prevent it from interfering with loctite or copperslip depeding on the application.........
Great info - luv it! =D>

I was thinking that leaving the beeswax on the threads would at least give as good protection as Copaslip against steel bolts seizing in alloy tapped threads. Beeswax has quite a high melting point so should not melt out with average engine temperatures. However, at higher temps such as on exhaust port threads, Copaslip might be better. :-k
Ced.

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Sent by Boson Quantum Transmission from the Starship 'Galahad'.
http://www.researchgate.net/publication ... ing_bosons" - It works!


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